Friday, March 30, 2007

Jedi Mind Tricks at Shawn Williams'...



For tonight's community jiu-jitsu trip we decided to make a return trip to Shawn Williams' academy in West Hollywood. We had already planned on this trip for a few weeks, but when I heard that Dave Camarillo would be training tonight - it pretty much cemented the deal. My partners in crime tonight would be Haley and Mike, who would both be on hand to tape Dave's training throughout the open mat session.

Tonight would actually end up being a totally different experience than our last visit for several reasons. First of all, it was an open mat and the mats were full of people in gis and without preparing for tournaments or just training in general. The atmosphere definitely felt alive and warmth is definitely the theme here. Everyone was so cool and welcoming and we were able to see some new friends and make even newer ones as well. Secondly, Dave was in town and he was teaching a lot of his specialty attacks when we arrived. This is always a pearl for anyone who gets to sit in on these lessons. Third of all, I got to warmup with HPF and then have that chased by getting dominated by Dave. Awesome. Finally, Dave showed us a great 1/2 guard strategy with a cross arm push (think opposite of an arm drag).

Seeing the Hollywood BJJ crew was great. Todd and Sean Apperson were there from the last class I had there and I was able to see Sam and Mike who I have met through my community jiu-jitsu experiences. Defintitely it was a pleasure to warmup and talk with the "infamous" HPF from the Jiujitsu Gear Forum. HPF is one of these guys I have met a few times and seen at a bunch of different seminars but have never had a chance to hang out with. It's always funny because we're usually wearing the same gi so we kind of stick out. Well, tonight he was a great help and we warmed up with some very light rolling. Even at a lighter pace, I could tell that HPF is very technical and I really liked his approach to BJJ. His hooks guard was fun to play with and I think he's bound to blow up under Shawn's tutelage. I can't say it enough how refreshing it is to actually warmup and have a nice easy roll with someone when they say that is what they are going to do (instead of saying, "lets roll light" and then going balls to the walls). Great guy with zero attitude. Hopefully, I can get him interested in a Community Jiujitsu trip with us to Johnny's New Breed Academy next week.

Here's a pic of HPF working his hooks...


Sam working an omo' game...


And Sean Apperson drilling some takedowns...


Next up Dave called me out and the fun really began. I guess Dave wanted to start from stand up, because well - he was standing up! I felt like he immediately took me out of my game, because I was giving his throws WAY TOO MUCH RESPECT!! He knew it and was just toying with me. I've been lucky enough to spar with Dave on quite a few occassions and I know when he is playing me. The funny thing is that he still completely dominated me and was able to stay a few steps ahead. Eventually, after a few poor single attempts and the ugliest missed Tai Otoshi ever (if most even would call it that), I started pulling to an open sitting guard or 2 on 1 guard. Dave would pass easily and he gave me some good pointers on it. The rest of the session had me getting passed, choked from the back, wrist locked, and more or less OWNED. I had not noticed it, but most of the class decided to slow down their training to watch - so I had a healthy audience for the Dave Camarillo highlight hour. Still, it was very fun. LESSONS LEARNED: Dave was telling me that he likes it when people play aggressive sitting up guards on the leg (like Pe de Pano) and he keeps stepping over towards the back and then stepping back to make the opponent chase you. I will eventually show some video that shows this and maybe Dave will showcase it in his new book. Basically, when the opponent is chasing you they are playing catch up to you and this definitely takes them out of their game. Great strategy. Other than that, Dave's game is always on the attack and it is just amazing to roll with him. Oh yeah, did I mention he is Speedy Gonzalez fast?

Dave getting upside down before he sweeps and submits me...


Dave acting like a backpack that chokes...


Next up, Dave taught Sean Apperson, Mike, Haley, and myself some really good attacks from the 1/2 guard that I will definitely be adding to my game. Basically, you start with a 1/2 guard with the shin in (some people call it a 1/4 guard) and you cross grip with your outside arm and punch their arm away - making sure they cannot bend it. Dave said that this is key and you have to get it straight or else strong guys like Koshcek will just power out. Once the arm is straight you have some great options: (1) You can punch your hips through and step over into a mount, (2) slide your leg through for the triangle, (3) pull your outside leg over for an omoplata or armlock attack, or my personal favorite (4) fish your cross guard arm under and dive under the body to get to an octopus guard position - from here Dave either takes the back, sweeps, or attacks another sub. The mini lesson was classic Dave - tons of options and I really think this is how I see his game.

Here is the starting position (notice how Dave is bringing up his right leg for leverage and attacks):


This is picture of the omoplata/armlock position that he transitions to...


In the following, Dave is transitioning from the starting position into an "Octopus" attacking position.


Here's one of Sean Apperson working the step over to mount from the position (similar to a hip bump sweep)...


The training session was once again very dynamic and most importantly - FUN. I got to talking to everyone after class and Dave said some very great things about training at Shawn's. He told me that he comes to Shawn for technical guidance and that he feels that it is one of THE best places to train, period. Coming from Dave, that carries a lot of weight. Once again, you guys owe it to yourselves to pay him a visit if you are in the LA area - you won't regret it. I saw Shawn teach a basic guard pass without the gi tonight and I felt like I was learning it all over again. Amazingly technical, Dave and Shawn are just showing some crazy Jedi mindcontrol.

HPF, Dave soon to be Judo Mullett, Shawn, and some ugly guy...


Once again, you can check Shawn out at www.hollywoodbjj.com

Next week we're heading over to John Ouano and Johnny Ramirez's New Breed Academy in Whittier. Hopefully Val will be there for Haley!

1 comment:

Sam said...

excellent coverage of dave's techniques. thanks, i couldnt remember all of it!